addiction recovery and ocd

Colorado Addiction Recovery and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (or “OCD”) is a long-lasting and frequently debilitating anxiety disorder that affects 1 to 2 percent of adults in the U.S. Although the American media often pokes fun at OCD in movies and TV shows, in truth, it’s a challenging mental health condition characterized by symptoms that include obsessions (uncontrolled, recurring thoughts) and compulsions (a drive to behave a certain way).

symptoms of OCD

Individuals who struggle with OCD experience anxiety-provoking, repeated thoughts, such as uncontrolled worry over germs, taboo sexual thoughts, or an unnatural obsession with needing everything in a certain order. They deal with these unwelcome thoughts by engaging in compulsive behaviors such as frequent hand washing or house cleaning, repeatedly checking actions such as locking the door, turning kitchen appliances off, or making sure the garage door is down when leaving the house, or even counting compulsively in an attempt to regain a sense of control in certain situations.

Like other mental health conditions, OCD can make it difficult for people to find success in their careers, personal relationships, social activities, and long-term goals. Unfortunately, the daily stressors of life, coupled with OCD, lead some to turn to alcohol or drugs for temporary relief from their symptoms. Once the effects of substance use wear off, however, the anxiety returns, resulting in subsequent episodes of substance use and perpetuating a negative cycle.

OCD and substance abuse

The International OCD Foundation estimates that approximately 25 percent of those with OCD also have an addiction to drugs or alcohol. And while that’s a notable (and potentially discouraging) statistic, today there are effective therapeutic treatments available to help people with OCD and a substance use disorder better cope with their anxieties.

Older treatment protocols involved treating either the substance use disorder or the addiction first and then addressing the secondary concern. However, recent advances in the field of addiction treatment have taught us that the individual who struggles with both a substance use disorder and an anxiety disorder such as OCD is better served by getting simultaneous treatment for both conditions. This approach is referred to as “dual diagnosis” or “integrated treatment” for co-occurring disorders.

And although there’s no magic cure for anxiety, therapy (and medication when needed) can help reduce symptoms that interfere with life. A Colorado addiction recovery center, Choice House is staffed by a team of experienced mental healthcare professionals who provide effective, integrated dual diagnosis treatment to support individuals who are suffering from both a substance use disorder as well as OCD. By working to understand each person’s struggles and the severity of their disorders, we can help them develop healthy coping mechanisms and peace of mind that help makes lasting sobriety possible.

dual diagnosis treatment at choice house

Located in Boulder, Colorado, Choice House offers compassionate, goal-focused dual diagnosis treatment for individuals struggling with co-occurring disorders like substance use disorder as well as mental health challenges. Through our various programs – 90-day residential treatment, Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), and structured sober living – our dedicated Colorado addiction recovery team of licensed therapists and behavioral health professionals work with participants in group and individual settings to identify the root causes of the issues they face. At our Colorado addiction recovery center we understand that co-occurring disorders exist, specifically addiction and OCD, and we explore every avenue to support each individual’s lifelong recovery.